ROALD DAHL’S HEARTBREAKING LETTER TO ANTI-VAXXERS ABOUT THE DEATH OF HIS DAUGHTER FROM MEASLES

Aren’t you relieved Massachusetts isn’t a “personal exemption” state?

The very tragedy of it all is that before this anti-vaccination craze took hold, by the year 2000, measles had been eliminated from the US.

The following are the nineteen states that allow for personal exemptions: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Vermont.

From the IFLScience website –

By james Felton

January 28, 2019

Every week there seems to be a new story of anti-vaxxers taking the irresponsible step of denying their children life-saving immunizations and their children paying the price.

Last week there was a measles outbreak in an anti-vaxxer hotspot in [Clark County Washngton], where 18 children aged between one and 10 years old contracted a potentially life-threatening illness we developed a vaccine for over 50 years ago. There have been similar outbreaks in Europe over the last few years, with at least 35 dying in 2017.

How must this trend of voluntarily not vaccinating your children look to someone whose family member had measles before the vaccination was widespread? The answer is in this heartbreaking letter from author Roald Dahl, written in 1986, 24 years after his 7-year-old daughter died of measles.

Everyone considering not vaccinating their children should read every word of it.

MEASLES: A dangerous illness

“Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old. As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it.

Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn’t do anything.

‘Are you feeling all right?’ I asked her. ‘I feel all sleepy,’ she said.

In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.

The measles had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her. That was twenty-four years ago in 1962, but even now, if a child with measles happens to develop the same deadly reaction from measles as Olivia did, there would still be nothing the doctors could do to help her.

On the other hand, there is today something that parents can do to make sure that this sort of tragedy does not happen to a child of theirs. They can insist that their child is immunised against measles. I was unable to do that for Olivia in 1962 because in those days a reliable measles vaccine had not been discovered. Today a good and safe vaccine is available to every family and all you have to do is to ask your doctor to administer it.

It is not yet generally accepted that measles can be a dangerous illness. Believe me, it is. In my opinion parents who now refuse to have their children immunised are putting the lives of those children at risk. In America, where measles immunisation is compulsory, measles like smallpox, has been virtually wiped out.

Here in Britain, because so many parents refuse, either out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear, to allow their children to be immunised, we still have a hundred thousand cases of measles every year. Out of those, more than 10,000 will suffer side effects of one kind or another. At least 10,000 will develop ear or chest infections. About 20 will die.

Every year around 20 children will die in Britain from measles. So what about the risks that your children will run from being immunised?

They are almost non-existent. Listen to this. In a district of around 300,000 people, there will be only one child every 250 years who will develop serious side effects from measles immunisation! That is about a million to one chance. I should think there would be more chance of your child choking to death on a chocolate bar than of becoming seriously ill from a measles immunisation.

So what on earth are you worrying about? It really is almost a crime to allow your child to go unimmunised. The ideal time to have it done is at 13 months, but it is never too late. All school-children who have not yet had a measles immunisation should beg their parents to arrange for them to have one as soon as possible.

Incidentally, I dedicated two of my books to Olivia, the first was James and the Giant Peach. That was when she was still alive. The second was The BFG, dedicated to her memory after she had died from measles. You will see her name at the beginning of each of these books. And I know how happy she would be if only she could know that her death had helped to save a good deal of illness and death among other children.”

Measles vs. Chicken Pox

Guertner Cousins Reunion

Guertner Cousins celebrate breakfast at Sugar Magnolia from Washington, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and Massachusetts.

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Harold Burnham and his crew returned on the Schooner Ardelle from Washington, D.C. Photos From Len Burgess

Harold Burnham and his crew returned on the Schooner Ardelle from Washington, D.C. Tuesday afternoon, with friends and family welcoming them back at the Maritime Gloucester Center.

Click below for slideshow

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Ardelle Update From Len Burgess and Mike Dyer Also Harold Burnham’s podcast interview by Josephine Reed for the NEA National Heritage Fellowship Awards

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Ardelle’s Arrival in Washington, D.C.

Len writes-

The stalwart crew of the Pinky Schooner Ardelle arrive in Washington, D.C. to deliver Captain Harold H. Burnham to the NEA National Heritage Fellowship Awards. Mike Dyer just sent up pictures and stories which are in the new album in the Essex Shipbuilding Museum’s Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=464863976891459&set=a.464863923558131.106235.174653662579160&type=1&theater

Thank you, Mike! Mike tells me that there will be stories when they return. Stay tuned for updates!

Listen to Harold Burnham’s podcast interview by Josephine Reed for the NEA National Heritage Fellowship Awards. -LB

http://www.arts.gov/av/audio/Burnham-podcast.mp3

Ardelle In Washington Photos From Richard P. Blatchford and Live Broadcast of The 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert

Dear Joey,

A cousin in Maine frequently forwards me pieces from Good Morning Gloucester.  She sent the one on Capt. Harold Burnham’s voyage to Washington.  I went to see Harold and the Ardelle this morning in Washington.  Penny (the cousin) said you might be interested in the pictures I took.

Why is a person from Maryland interested in Gloucester and the Ardelle?  Well, I was born in Lynn.  My dad was Gloucester born and bred.  He was James W. and had brothers who lived lifelong in Gloucester.  They were Roger (Gloucester police) and Howard (Gloucester postal service).  As a boy, I spent many summers in Essex at another uncle’s egg farm.  As a result, Essex marinas & boat yards and Gloucester have always been an interest.

If you like the pics, feel free to use them.  Just give credit to Richard P. Blatchford as the photographer.  :-)  That would be me.

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Hello,

I’ve been following all of your coverage of Harold Burnham’s trip to DC and I wanted to make sure you and your readers know that the National Endowment for the Arts will be webcasting live the 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert. It will take place on Thursday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. To watch, all you have to do is go to www.arts.gov. During the concert, Mr. Burnham will be interviewed about his work by Nick Spitzer, the host of public radio’s American Routes.

Here is a link to more info: http://arts.gov/honors/heritage/2012-NEA-Heritage-Fellows-Concert.html.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Liz

Liz Auclair

Public Affairs Specialist | National Endowment for the Arts

1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW | Room 525 | Washington, DC 20506

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Schooner Ardelle Arrives In Washington!!! Photos from Janice Rathjen

Hi Joey,
I thought I’d pass along a few pictures my wife (Janice Rathjen) took this afternoon of the schooner Ardelle arriving in Washington DC. We were out for an afternoon sail, and met up with the Ardelle as it was coming up the Potomac River. The picture below shows her approaching the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (aka the Capital Beltway) from the south, with the Washington Monument visible under the bridge.

Cheers, from a former Gloucester resident.
Lars Rathjen

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Ardelle escorted by the Chesapeake oyster Skipjack Minnie V.

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Ardelle and Minnie V.

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Ardelle Report for Saturday Night From Len Burgess

On Saturday Harold Burnham and crew made good nautical mileage today and if everything goes well they’ll be sailing into Washington Sunday. its now anchored for some rest tonight off of the town of Newburg, MD. near the Route 301 bridge.

    Looking ahead to Sunday…the weather forecast in the Washington area will be mostly sunny except for a few afternoon clouds, temperature High 76F. winds light and variable.

   Check out more info at… http://www.facebook.com/pages/Essex-Shipbuilding-Museum/174653662579160?closeTheater=1

-Len Burgess

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Ardelle Story In The Gloucester Daily Times

Gloucester Times story about the Schooner Ardelle sailing to Washington DC
http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local/x708369759/Burnham-sailing-to-pick-up-award-in-DC

Here’s the latest graphic as of Thurs. Night. with the Ardelle traveling into Sillery Bay, MD.

-Len Burgess

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Tracking the Ardelle

Len Burgess writes-

As of Tuesday night the Ardelle was at the southern tip of New Jersey near Cape May and at the entrance to Delaware Bay and are planning to take the Intercoastal. The new site to track the Ardelle that seems to work is http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/. Once there enter Ardelle in the ship search box and hit enter.

-Len Burgess

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This is the probable route for the Ardelle and crew to get to Washington.
-Len Burgess

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Update from Al-

0530 9/26 wind SSW 18-21 kt and Ardelle is still making slow progress beating toward Cape May. Been a long night out there with the wind right on their nose If they go up the Delaware they’ll be having a nice ride once they get around Cape May and the tide starts flooding. Delaware Bay entrance will be rockn’ and rollin’ at the ebb with this breeze. The flood begins just before 2 PM.

If they reach Cape May entrance at the start of the flood they will be in tall clover for they will have fair current for over 50 miles to the C&D and thence fair current just starting and all the way through the canal and well down into the Chesapeake. Then fair wind down the bay to the Potomac.

Al Bezanson


Update:

As of Wednesday morning the Ardelle is still at the southern tip of New Jersey near Cape May and at the entrance to Delaware Bay. It is reported that the engine is down and needs a new part.